Saturday Showdown Against Islanders on tap Lamar looks to continue climb up Southland standings
BEAUMONT, Texas – Lamar hoops picked up a thrilling victory over Houston Baptist Thursday evening at the Montagne Center, and will look to turn that momentum into consecutive wins as it host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Saturday afternoon at 6 p.m. The Cardinals (3-18/2-7 SLC) have won two of the last three games after posting a 59-57 victory over Houston Baptist last time out. Lamar enters its game against the Islanders in 12th place only half game back of Central Arkansas.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi got out to a great start in Southland Conference play winning their first three games, and six of their first seven, but enter Saturday's game reeling after consecutive losses to New Orleans and Sam Houston State. Despite their two recent losses, the Islanders are currently fourth in the league standings only a half game back of Nicholls State.
On paper, Saturday's game sets up to be a defensive struggle. The Islanders enter the game ranked third in the conference surrendering 70.5 points per game to its opponents, while Lamar has seen its defense take huge strides in the past three games. During that stretch Lamar is giving up fewer than 60 points per game to its opponents. That, to go along with the fact that both teams knock down fewer than five three-point field goals per game sets the stage for one of the league's biggest defensive struggles of the weekend.
The Islanders come into the day with one of the league's leading scorers in John Jordan. A 5-10 junior from Houston, Jordan is ranked seventh in the Southland averaging 15.7 points per game, but he is the only Islander averaging in double digits this season.
Junior Nimrod Hilliard leads Lamar averaging nearly 15 points per game, and is one of four Cardinals averaging better than 10 points per game this season. Hilliard is joined in double figures by senior Amos Wilson (11.7 ppg), junior Donovan Ross (10.1 ppg) and sophomore Rhon Mitchell (10.3 ppg), although Mitchell sat out Thursday night's game with an injury.
Mitchell's absence from Thursday's victory made Lamar's win over Houston Baptist that much more impressive because he and Wilson had been the team's top two leading scorers in the previous six games.
Saturday's game will also serve as Lamar's alumni night. Alumni can receive ticket discounts and enjoy the Cardinal Club room beginning at 5 p.m. for Saturday's game. The game against the Islanders will tip off at 6 p.m. from the Montagne Center.
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